No-Bake Cheesecake with Blackberry Gin Glaze

Having worked in the Pick Your Own branch of Weaver’s Orchard for over 10 years, I would say without question that one of the most underrated fruits we grow is the humble blackberry. So today, I have decided to create a no-bake cheesecake with a blackberry gin glaze.

In the thick of the summer heat when customers often respond to our greetings with, “So what’s the fastest to pick today?” I have happily steered people toward our blackberry patches. Their skepticism is understandable. Blackberries purchased from a supermarket out of season are often tasteless, seedy, and soft. However, in season the “onyx gem” of the berry world is plump, juicy, and bursting with flavor.

This recipe celebrates the wonderful seasonality of the blackberry and timeless unctuousness of cheesecake, but with a twist. We are cutting out the oven, eggs, and so on by making a no-bake cheesecake and elevating the blackberry with a splash of gin to make for a showstopper glaze topping.

 

For the Glaze

  • 1 qt. blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • ⅓ cup gin

 

For the Crust 

  • 15 graham cracker sheets
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 14 Tbsp. salted butter (melted)

 

For the Cheesecake 

  • 16 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup ricotta (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Zest of a 1/2 to a whole lime

 

Instructions

For the Glaze 

  1. Begin by making the blackberry gin glaze by placing the blackberries and water in a saucepan. Over low heat, gently cook the blackberries until they begin to release their juices.
  2. Use a firm rubber spatula or the back of a spoon and begin breaking down the blackberries.
  3. After 3-5 minutes of cooking, begin to spoon liquid out of the saucepan, through a fine mesh strainer, into a heat-safe pyrex measuring cup, yielding approximately 8 oz. Discard seeds and skins.
  4. Return juice to the saucepan, reserving 2 Tbsp. of juice, and add 5 Tbsp. of sugar and gin to the pan.
  5. In the same measuring cup, add 2 Tbsp. of corn starch to the reserved juice. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Add cornstarch mixture to the juice and sugar. Cook over low to medium low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring and allowing for nothing stronger than a gentle simmer. The glaze has reduced enough when it holds a ¼ inch long string between two fingers.
  7. Transfer back to the heat safe measuring cup and allow to cool. For the Graham Cracker Crust 
  8. For the crust mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well-combined and mixture resembles damp sand.
  9. Press crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ spring form pan. Place into the refrigerator to chill as you prepare your cheesecake filling.
    Tip: If you use the bottom of a clean measuring cup to tamp down the crust the warmth from your fingers will not cause the crust to become too dense.

    For the Cheesecake Filling
  10. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lime zest, sour cream, and ricotta (if using). Ensure the mixture is smooth and without any pockets or lumps.
  11. Whip your heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks.
  12. Gently fold whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture until completely combined and batter is smooth.
  13. Evenly spread no-bake cheesecake filling into prepared graham cracker crust. Allow to chill for several hours before slicing and serving.

No-Bake Cheesecake with Blackberry Gin Glaze
Author: 
 
Ingredients
For the Glaze
  • 1 qt. blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • ⅓ cup gin
For the Crust
  • 15 graham cracker sheets
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 14 Tbsp. salted butter (melted)
For the Cheesecake
  • 16 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup ricotta (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of a ½ to a whole lime
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
For the Glaze
  1. Begin by making the blackberry gin glaze by placing the blackberries and water in a saucepan. Over low heat, gently cook the blackberries until they begin to release their juices.
  2. Use a firm rubber spatula or the back of a spoon and begin breaking down the blackberries.
  3. After 3-5 minutes of cooking, begin to spoon liquid out of the saucepan, through a fine mesh strainer, into a heat-safe Pyrex measuring cup, yielding approximately 8 oz. Discard seeds and skins.
  4. Return juice to the saucepan, reserving 2 Tbsp. of juice, and add 5 Tbsp. of sugar and gin to the pan.
  5. In the same measuring cup, add 2 Tbsp. of corn starch to the reserved juice. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Add cornstarch mixture to the juice and sugar. Cook over low to medium low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring and allowing for nothing stronger than a gentle simmer. The glaze has reduced enough when it holds a ¼ inch long string between two fingers.
  7. Transfer back to the heat safe measuring cup and allow to cool. For the Graham Cracker Crust
  8. For the crust mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well-combined and mixture resembles damp sand.
  9. Press crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan. Place into the refrigerator to chill as you prepare your cheesecake filling.
  10. Tip: If you use the bottom of a clean measuring cup to tamp down the crust the warmth from your fingers will not cause the crust to become too dense.
For the Cheesecake Filling
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lime zest, sour cream, and ricotta (if using). Ensure the mixture is smooth and without any pockets or lumps.
  2. Whip your heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks.
  3. Gently fold whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture until completely combined and batter is smooth.
  4. Evenly spread no-bake cheesecake filling into prepared graham cracker crust. Allow to chill for several hours before slicing and serving.

 

No-bake cheesecake with blackberry gin glaze

 

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